This was inspired by a dream of mine. It's supposed to be based off manga, sorta. I tried to do something a little different with the present tense, instead of my usual past tense too. Hopefully you like!
A girl with auburn hair sits in a plain white room, in a plain white dress.
Her legs are folded underneath her, and her hands are clasped together as they sit upon on her lap. Gray eyes never waver from the single window, barred off from the rest of the world. It is currently dark out, exposing the bright crescent moon, with not a cloud in the sky to hide its beauty.
It will be sunrise in a few hours, she knows. She's watched the sun come up many a times.
But she can only watch the sun rise and set, in a forever repeating pattern. Far too long a pattern, she thinks.
1,000 sunsets. 1,000 sunrises.
One would think a person could never grow tired of the beauty that is a sunrise and sunset, but for the girl, it has been too many.
And the pattern continues on.
"Inoue Orihime, for your crimes and treason against Soul Society, you are hereby sentenced to 1,000 years in prison. Your soul will be kept here, while your physical body will be considered dead in the World of the Living. Perhaps that'll teach you a lesson." The Central 46 has never been known as generous, she has been told before, but for trying to protect her friends, Orihime finds this to be excess.
The brown eyes behind her, a single pair among a sea of others, knows she is not one to go against the afterworld that is Soul Society. Never has, never will. But the savior of Soul Society has no say in the verdict of Inoue Orihime's crimes.
Still. The trial had come and gone, and she was still deemed guilty.
As she turns around to face him, she can't help but feel shame. Should she have took different actions? Looking back on it, she probably would have taken the choice of rendezvousing to Hueco Mundo anyway.
Her hands are handcuffed behind her back, and the tightness of the locks cause her to wince. Despite the pain, her eyes are still focused on him.
"Kurosaki-kun..." She mumbles, her voice laced with worry and an overflowing love that he would probably never pick up on. She can see him raising his hand towards her, and how his eyes are showing his desire to fight the people around him and take her back. But guards are on the lookout, their eyes particularly locked onto him. She sees he wants to fight, but no good will come from it.
She apologizes on the inside, still knowing there can be nothing done to help her now.
That was the last time she saw Ichigo.
950 years of service, almost all of the required, and she still craves to be released. She wants to see her friends; those people so close to her. Or were once close to her. She can vaguely remember names, and the faces slipped from her after the first hundred years or so.
Orihime's strong, female friend is a hazy person now, but she knows she was important. Or she thinks she was.
She seems to recall a smaller one, one that reminds her of "hard on the outside, but soft on the inside". The person was a tough cookie, but she loved her friends dearly.
So long in prison has played tricks on her mind, so Orihime cannot tell if these people existed or not. She figures it might be her imagination acting in a way as to not keep her alone.
Lying down, she sighs and folds her hands on the flat plains of her stomach. Absentmindedly, she thinks there is so much white in the room, it makes her wonder if she's in some other world. Like Heaven. Before she knew about Soul Society, she believed in a Heaven where everyone had wings and wore all white.
It's when the guards bring her food here and there that breaks her from that potential reality.
Orihime remembers the bright-haired boy. Very little of him lingers in her mind, but she still feels her heart pound in her heart at the notion of loving someone so fervently.
What does exist in her mind is little, yes, but she cannot erase the pained eyes of his from her sentencing day, so long ago. The ones that made her heart clench and twist with ache. What she knows is that he was important to her, as her body's memories react in ways her mind cannot remember.
Her lids cover her brilliant honey-orbs, blinking her eyes to a close. In her head, she tries to put him back together, piece by piece, memory by memory.
In all truth, her heart is the only thing leading her now.
Orihime doesn't talk to the guards, nor does she ever receive visitors. The guards have nothing to say to her, and apparently her presence doesn't mean that much to every one else anymore.
Surprisingly, she is okay with that.
Considering she's a traitor, it would only be natural that her friends abandoned her. It hurts sometimes, but she understands it's time and feelings that have played a part in the forgetting of her.
If she had friends in prison for treason, would she visit them? She ponders upon that question occasionally, but she always finds her answer to be yes. She imagines the situation in her head, and finds that no matter what they did, she would still care for them unconditionally.
Sighing to herself, Orihime discovers her mind is rethinking of the same thing she has for over half a millennia. It grows tiresome at times, but it is all she has to think about.
Orihime does not talk in prison. She sings instead.
She knows her voice would not be existent if she kept so quiet for so many years, so she hums a small, gentle tune everyday. It passes time, and so far, she thinks it has kept a good portion of her sanity intact.
"Last day," a guard finally speaks up to her one day. Orihime is left confused, raising a tired brow. The bulky man that usually sits outside her door scoffs and his tone grows irritated. "You get out tomorrow."
She hears him speak, but she is unable to comprehend his words.
Is her sentence really almost over?
Her lips start to hurt all of a sudden, after she has leaned back against the cushioned wall. Her fingers are tracing the contours of her face, trying to figure out why it is it hurts so much. It is only later when she remembers the term for her facial expression, and it makes her face further as she realizes she has forgotten how to do it.
Orihime finds out she is smiling.
"Inoue Orihime, you are hereby released from your 1,000 year sentence," a leader of the Central 46 tells her. She is still wearing her white dress, but she is no longer in her white room.
She can tell it is one more step towards freedom.
"Is there any last words you wish to say before you are released?" He asks.
Orihime opens her mouth to speak, but instead finds herself unable at the moment and shuts it instead. She merely shakes her head, and as if that action were magic, the cuffs around her wrists are finally removed. They have never entirely hurt before, but she feels a weight off her shoulders after they are taken off.
She is escorted out of the Central 46 headquarters by two lankier guards. The big doors that have contained her for the past millennium are opening in front of her, giving her promise and hope; something she has not felt for so long.
The sun is so bright in her eyes, she dislikes a bit, as her bare feet walk slowly out the doors. It is hard to see with the sun and bright surroundings. She has been in a bright, white room for so long, but the sunlight in there was minimal.
Orihime is left right outside of the Central 46 headquarters, and the guards return to the building. She is alone and feeling a little empty. She has had time to rely on for the past 1,000 years, but she doesn't know what to rely on now.
"Inoue?" a low voice mumbles from the left of her. Surprised, she glances down and sees brown eyes and bright orange hair. Two parts of the person she had been trying to put back together for so long.
Her brows furrow together as she turns towards the man, whom is resting against the white walls that surround the Central 46. He looks tired and weary, she notices as he rubs his eyes fervently. His stature looks built and strong, but he holds himself dejectedly.
"Is it..." He murmurs again, removing his hands from his eyes. "Is it really you?" Orihime opens her lips to respond, but again, nothing comes out.
His deep, brown eyes scan her entire body as he hoists himself up to a standing position. Orihime feels a heat to her cheeks as his eyes rake over her, but the word that refers to the warmness is escaping her. She herself looks him over as well, noting his tall height and the black uniform and white haori adorning his shoulders. She has a feeling that garment is important.
His hands land on her bare shoulders, and those brown eyes that looked so pained before were full of happiness now.
"You're out," his voice is laced with warmth that sends shivers down her spine. "God, I can't believe you're finally out. I've tried to wait here when I could, but, uh..." He turns a little red himself, and on the inside, he's beating himself up for admitting he's waited for her all this time.
Orihime is scolding herself because she is unable to remember his name. The eyes and his hair are clear and crisp to her now, but the name is long gone from her head. All she really remembers is the erratic heartbeat that she gets around him.
With his hands on her shoulders, Orihime feels a slight tug towards him, and she feels that he wants to embrace her of the sorts, but he is holding back.
"Why..." he starts, his thumb absentmindedly rubbing her skin. "Why aren't you saying anything, Inoue?"
Yes... Why aren't I saying anything? She wishes she could, but time has left her confused and feeling like she's had to reset herself. Everything she knew before she went into prison was forgotten unintentionally.
"It's me," his voice is a little more urged. "Kurosaki Ichigo. We're... friends."
The name clicks into her head, and a warmth overwhelms her body. Kurosaki-kun. She starts to remember how she made sure to say his name with love, every time she said it.
"Kurosaki... kun," Orihime speaks, but her voice is quiet and hushed. It is the first time she has spoken for so long. "I'm sorry, I..." Her apology seems foreign on her tongue. "I don't know what to say..."
His expression was twisted into a worried frown before, but he looks a little more relieved after she talked. "It's okay, Inoue." he tells her, but unsure if he is trying to reassure himself as well. "You don't need to say anything."
He pulls her into a small, quick hug. It makes her heart flutter with joy, but it could just be she's excited about having physical contact after so long. His warm breath fans into her hair, and she's left with her hands clutching the front of his clothes tightly.
After he parts, he looks at her sheepishly, but his eyes read that he does not regret what he did.
"Sorry," he blurts out. "It's just been so long." His confession also seems foreign in his mouth. He's still trying to get over the fact that Orihime has been released.
Smiling faintly and ignoring the ache in her facial muscles from it, Orihime shakes her head in the negative. It's alright, she thinks in her head. He feels relieved at her response, and instead lets his hand slide down to hold hers. It is larger and warmer than hers, she notices, but her hand seems to fit perfectly in his.
Ichigo smiles and squeezes her hand lightly.
"Come on, Inoue. Let's go."